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Silicone Based Chemical in Pizza Huts Cheese is Polymethylsiloxane
Pizza Hut cheese is not just cheese, its silicone!
In this issue, writer John Bunting details how Pizza Huts cheese supplier Leprino Foods uses a silicone-based industrial chemical in the patented manufacturing of Pizza Cheese
That chemical Polymethylsiloxane has no FDA approval for use as a food ingredient.
Polymethylsiloxane is sold by Dow-Corning as Antifoam FG 10 .
This material is approved by the FDA for use in food plants only as an anti-foaming agent for boiler water.
In its patented manufacturing process, Leprino Foods liberally sprays Polydimethylsiloxane on cheese granules . Leprinos Pizza Cheese supplied to Pizza Huts contains about 900 parts per million of Polymethylsiloxane: 90 times higher residue concentration than FDA allows when Polymethylsiloxane is used as a boiler water anti- foaming agent.
Repeat: Polydimethylsiloxane has no FDA approval as a safe food ingredient. It is a violation of FDA rules to use an unapproved ingredient in human foods. Silicone is amazing stuff.
In its various forms, silicone may enhance the female anatomy (ala amply-endowed actress Pamela Anderson). Silicone products can caulk seams around the bathtub to seal out water. Silicone compounds are used for lubricants. However, using silicone products in human foods is a novel, if extra-legal, application.
Leprino Foods, the worlds largest Italian cheese manufacturer, is the nearly exclusive supplier of Pizza Cheese to the 6000+ Pizza Hut restaurants in the U.S. Leprino is based in Denver, Colorado. To control costs (and boost profits), Leprino Foods uses patented manufacturing processes that add large volumes of water, salt and food starch to so-called granules of Pizza Cheese prior to flash-freezing.
Food starch is a particularly profitable addition to processed foods, since food starch holds ten times its own weight in water.
All that food starch, water and salt in the Leprinos Pizza Cheese creates problems for both cooking and refrigerated shelf-life. To solve these cooking problems, Leprinos patented process for making cheese granules sprays 1.75 parts of a water-based spray containing 0.05% Dow-Corning Antifoam FG 10 for each 100 parts cheese.
Yield: 900 parts per million of Antifoam FG 10 (generically known as Polydimethylsiloxane) in the Pizza Cheese that Leprino sells to Pizza Hut. Polydimethylsiloxane is approved by FDA in food industry use only as an anti-foaming agent for boiler water in plants processing non-standardized foods. FDApermits no use of Dow-Corning Antifoam FG 10 directly in or on foods. FDA does allow up to 10 parts per million of Polydimethylsiloxane residues in food products, as residue from the products use as a boiler water anti-foaming agent. The 900 ppm of Polydimethylsiloxane in Leprinos Pizza Cheese that Pizza Hut puts on its pizzas is 90 times FDAs legal limit for indirect residues of that chemical in food products.
Follow the trail of evidence … Trace the evidence … from Pizza Hut back to Leprino Foods patents. Start with an empty box of Pizza Cheese liberated from a dumpster behind a Pizza Hut. The contents were Pizza Huts Pizza Cheese Weight (when full): 15 lbs.
The box contains a statement noting the product is packaged exclusively for use by Pizza Hut Inc., its franchises and licensees Leprino Foods is obviously the supplier. The USDA plant number (identifying the cheese plant at which the product was made) is Plant No. 26-930
Thats Leprinos plant at Allendale, Michigan. The box also notes U.S. Patent No. 4894245 and other patents pending Leprino Foods received U.S. patent #4894245 for coated cheese granules in 1990 (among many other cheesy patents that Leprino holds). That patents abstract states: Coated frozen cheese granules are prepared by freezing the granules and applying an aqueous coating containing one or more modifying additives.
On baking the cheese the additives in the frozen coatings distribute throughout the cheese to obtain modifications of flavor and other properties The abstract from Leprino patent #4894245 clearly states that the aqueous coating (Polymethylsiloxane) is contained in the cheese of the finished, cooked pizza silicone-based substance in the cheese atop Pizza Hut pizzas. Leprino patent #494245 reveals detailed information about the role of the cheese emulsifiers:
When the coated frozen cheese is applied to pizzas and baked thereon, the coatings will liquify first. This permits the flavor additive and/or emulsi- fier to spread over and into the cheese particles as their outer surfaces become thawed . . . Cheese emulsifiers applied in this way can function to soften the outer portions of the cheese granules. This will improve melting and fusing of the granules
Leprino patent #494245 targets the emulsifier: A silicone emulsifier (Dow Corning FG-10) is mixed with water to form a 0.05% emulsifier solution. This solution is sprayed on the frozen cheese granules at a rate of 1.75 parts of solution per 100 parts by weight of cheese. This should achieve a final content of around 0.09% emulsifier on the cheese No compliance with mandatory GRAS rules The federal Food and Drug Administration re- quires ingredients used in human foods to comply with the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) rules, which specify that each food ingredient developed after 1958 must meet exacting safety tests. Polydimethylsiloxane does not appear on FDAs Web site as a GRAS-approved food ingredient.
A call to Dow-Corning headquarters in Midland, Michigan yielded the statement that no Dow products complied with GRAS. However, information faxed by a Dow-Corning representative stated: Dow-Corning Antifoam FG 10 complies with FDA regulation 21 CFR.173.310, which covers secondary direct food additives used as defoaming agents and allows concentration of up to 10 parts per mil- lion active silicone (Polydimethylsiloxane) in non standardized foods
Section 173.310 is limited to boiler water additives in food processing plants and has nothing to do with cheese or cheese-type products that a consumer might ingest.
Clearly, Leprino Foods use of Dow-Corning Antifoam FG 10 as an agent contained in an aqueous solution sprayed directly on cheese granules does not conform with FDA's rules governing ingredients used in human foods.
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